Please Tell Me This is Just Hypochondria and Nothing More
I can say it, I’m a hypochondriac. Most of the time. I worry about things that are out of my control, I fret, I freak out and I imagine the “worst case scenario” in most situations. I’ve never been a “glass his half full” sort of girl. So of course, any possibility that I can jump to conclusions, I will. My hope is that this time, I’ll be wrong and all of my worst fears will not come true. I have to hope, I have nothing else to do.
On Saturday, I took my best friend of 13 years to the vet. Okay, my best friend isn’t human. So, sign number one that I may not be “all there” upstairs. But if you had any idea just how amazing my best friend is, you would understand. Anyhow, my worst worries about the appointment for a routine check-up were that a) my dog would be an ass and b) that there is always a chance that my dog could have heartworms or worms. For a 13-year-old dog, I’m thankful that is all I typically have to worry about. It could be worse. He could be dead, he could have some type of disease, a billion things could be wrong. Thankfully, we have been pretty fortunate.
As Bowser was getting checked out, his veterinarian went to check his mouth. I wasn’t paying too much attention until I saw Dr. Carr open his mouth again. The look on her face told me that something was wrong. Then, I heard what I would never have imagined I would hear. “Bowser has a growth inside of his mouth and it’s pretty consistent with aggressive Melanoma (cancer). We need to get that removed and biopsied as soon as possible.” My heart sank and bile rose up into my throat. I did the best I could to hold my composure while she explained everything and while she finished up his exam. The doctor asked me to go out to the waiting room and sit while she prepared a quote for surgery to remove the mass and to have it sent for a biopsy. I sat there stroking Bowser’s scruffy neck while I waited for Dr. Carr to come back out. In my head, a billion things were running through and I kept thinking back to the fact that when he was at the vet in late August for a dental exam and a broken tooth, there was no mass there. Dr. Carr had confirmed as much. I already was jumping to conclusions and I had convinced myself that the cancer had to be aggressive to have appeared that quickly and to have already turned his mouth black.
The doctor came out with the estimates for surgery and we discussed the options and I promised to call her soon. Bowser was already scheduled for boarding there while I’m out-of-town for a seminar so I told her I would think about how soon we could get him in. If you’re a pet owner, you already know that surgery and pet care doesn’t come cheap. But while animals are expensive, the love and companionship that they give makes everything worth it.
I loaded Bowser up in the Yukon and I headed home. As much as I told myself that I wouldn’t cry, I felt the tears running down my face as I shifted into gear. I didn’t even make it out of the parking lot before I broke down. Eager to comfort me, Bowser stood with his front paws on the console and he stuck his cold nose in my neck. While normally he paces and runs around the car like a moron, he didn’t do it this time. He stood on the console until I got onto the highway and then he laid down in the backseat and he watched me. Bowser never lays down in the car… ever.
When we got home, I tried to not be sad because I knew that my 2 youngest kids would be sitting in the living room waiting for their beloved pooch to come home. I got Bowser inside and the boys attacked him, eager to give hugs and to ask him how things went. As I motioned for Larry to come outside and I sent the boys to their room to play, I saw Paris give Bowser a kiss on the head and then he walked off. I told Larry what happened and he of course, told me not to worry because we didn’t even know anything for sure.
It’s been 2 days since I heard the vet tell me that my BFF could have cancer. Two days and still I tear up at the thought of him or what we are about to go through. I haven’t had time to write in months but really, it hasn’t just been because of the time, it’s just as much about emotion as it is anything. Right now I am filled with so much sadness that all I really want to do is curl up in the fetal position and type until my fingers are numb. I have so much to say, so much to tell the brown mutt that stole my heart so long ago but he would never understand. All he understands is that the trash can is filled with pure heaven, his family loves him and spoils him and that candy tastes amazing. His little brain could never comprehend just how devastated I am at the thought of him suffering or even worse, of him being gone. And he sure as hell won’t understand how I am sitting here with all the contents of my trash can at my feet and that I haven’t yelled at him yet.
I wonder if I even fully understand just how much he means to me.
Bowser is scheduled for surgery next Friday. If you are the praying kind, please keep him in your prayers. If you don’t pray, we can use all the well wishes and luck in the world.